South Australia had been suffering extreme heat through January causing bush fires throughout the state with some towns reaching record temperatures, 47 – 49 C ( 118 F). It was the kind of heat the smacked you in the face as when you walked out the door. All days weren’t as bad, but the heat affected what you’ll do that day.
On a day when there was a bit of break from the heat, we drove a half hour from the Adelaide Hills into Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Adelaide is on the Fleurieu peninsula on the Southern Ocean.
Adelaide is an easy to navigate; the urban center is concentrated on a grid of four main streets that form a square. Inside the square all streets are parallel or intersect with the border streets. Confusing? Not really, it’s like the city was laid out by engineers tasked with coming up with the most logical and streamlined way to plan a city.
On the north end is the Torrens River and War Memorial drive, a popular place for families to relax and enjoy the views.
We were most interested in the historic area along North Terrace which forms one of the boundaries of the city. Along North Terrace are Adelaide’s historical buildings: Old Parliament House, Parliament House, Government House, the ANZAC memorial, Science Museum, State Library, Art Gallery of South Australia, and campus of South Australia University.
Walking along North Terrace is like taking a journey through the early history of Adelaide when it was settled by immigrants, many from Germany and the UK. Prisoner labor did a lot of the early infrastructure work, building roads and erecting buildings that have lasted more than 100 years.
Art Gallery of South Australia
We ventured into the State Library, the Science Museum, but spent out most time in the Art Gallery which had an impressive collection works mostly from Australian artists Many paintings portrayed the history of the settlement of Australia and it’s diverse and colorful landscapes.
Many works were modern, like you’d find in American or European galleries or museums.
The small Torrens River borders the North Terrace street and its many historical buildings. The area is a popular city park with footpaths, shade trees, children’s’ playgrounds, and picnic areas.
We celebrated Australia Day January 26 with our Aussie friends. We spent the day with Wendy, Malcolm and their family, eating the traditional meal of scrambled eggs, beans, bacon, lamb, toast, and salad. Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the British Navy into Sydney harbor on January 26, 1788, when the British flag was raised the first time declaring the territory part of the British Commonwealth.
And of course, we had to don some of festive garb that Aussies wear to celebrate their national day. Don’t laugh, we do the same in the US on July 4th, eating barbecue and fried chicken, wearing flag shirts, shorts, Uncle Sam hats while we shoot off fireworks and drink too much beer. The Aussies have the beer thing down pretty well.
Next: Geraldton, West Australia
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